Archive for April 29, 2013

May Day rallies & The Student Spring

May 1 will mark International Workers’ Day, or May Day, a day of labor action to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which involved the 1886 massacre of on-strike Chicago factory workers.

Since then, thanks to workers, May Day has become an official holiday all over the world. It has also become a movement in which student action has been instrumental.

First we have news about May Day events this year. Following are links to stories about student protests, which we are dubbing The Student Spring in the hope that more will bloom.

May Day Protests: Before and After

May 1 Rally for Equity at University of Akron

In Akron, Ohio, the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association has scheduled a May 1 Rally for rally flyerEquity, 11 am – 2 pm on the plaza between the Student Union and Buchtel Hall on the University of Akron’s main campus. Map. All faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to attend to show solidarity with UA’s part-time faculty whose lives are seriously impacted by a recent administrative decision that cuts their course loads to eight credit hours per semester. This decision was made so that UA could avoid providing health care benefits required under the Affordable Care Act. To help us gauge participation, we ask that you complete a confidential participation form.

Read more, including the April 29 Page one story in the Akron Beacon Journal, “Part-time faculty at UA to rally over classroom cuts and its April 28 column by Michael Douglas, editorial page editor, “Failing marks in higher education.”

SUNY New Paltz UUP and Student-Labor Coalition rally together

SUNY New Paltz UUP and Student-Labor Coalition will be launching “May Day $5K” with May-Day-white-background2-231x300rallies at New Paltz and elsewhere as well as collecting signatures for a national campaign to raise the salary and improve the working conditions for the majority of teachers in higher education throughout the country. The campaign, initiated by NFM Board (and founding) Member Peter D.G. Brown, is aimed at the roughly one million part-time adjuncts and full-time lecturers, who comprise the so-called “contingent” academic labor force not on the tenure track. For more information, contact: Peter D.G. Brown, 845-257-2783, peterdg.brown@gmail.com.

Media coverage: Higher pay for adjuncts is goal of SUNY New Paltz protest

New York University May Day

A preview of New York University May Day activities

Cornell University May Day events on Facebook

May Day Events in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N. Mexico

May Day Events held by SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

Workshop on Fighting Austerity: What is Austerity and how do we fight back? A Solidarity Against Austerity May Day Mobilization Lead-Up Event

austerity

This event includes a march at 6 p.m. and a workshop from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, in Ottawa, Canada at the University of Ottawa and other locations. Speakers and panelists include: Geoff Bickerton, Yafa Jarrar, Jen Moore, Ben Powless, Donald Swartz. Read more.

Adjuncts File State Complaint Over Limits on Hours

On Monday, the adjunct union at Kalamazoo Valley Community College challenged a policy setting limits on adjunct hours due to the Affordable Care Act. The union filed a grievance with Michigan officials. Read more at Inside Higher Ed and at MLive. On Tuesday, adjuncts were expected to protest at the college.

Adjunct professors protest limit on work related to health care law

New Hampshire adjunct professors protested course load limits in response to the Affordable Care Act. Read more.

Capilano University instructors & students protest program cuts

Students and faculty at Capilano University’s studio art program used the April 27 graduation to protest the university’s decision to cut the program. Read more.

Anonymous Global Day of Resistance

Anonymous calls People in the World for Global Day Of Resistance 1st May 2013 and issued a Press Release.

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Occupy Wall Street Mayday 2013

Groups from around New York City are coming together this May Day to stand up for worker rights and immigrant rights, and fight back against the 1 percent. Join labor unions, the May 1st Coalition, immigrant rights groups, Occupy Wall Street and student groups as they come together and say Another World Is Possible! Find out more.

Click below for more information on May Day events in the following cities, courtesy of MSN.com:

New York City
Los Angeles
Seattle
Chicago
San Francisco
Boston
Portland

The Student Spring: Protests Bloom

Peaceful protest decries closing of UA Office of Multicultural Development. April 23, 2013. University of Akron students protest UA’s decision to eliminate the Office of Multicultural Development next fall.

OU students disrupt Trustees meeting. April 19, 2013. Raw video of Ohio University students protesting a tuition hike.

NC Student Power Union plans May-Day march. April 25, 2013. The North Carolina Student Power Union, a group founded by college students across the state, will lead a protest on May 1st criticizing Pat McCrory’s proposed budget, which recommends over $140 million in cuts to the UNC System, among other measures.

Gruesome Demonstration Protests UC Regents’ “Silencing” of Students. April 25, 2013. Students occupied an area in the Arbor, protesting the University’s ongoing disconnect with UC students.

Students protest at Culinary Institute. April 23, 2013. About 90 students at the Culinary Institute of America walked out of classes Tuesday to protest what they called a weakening enforcement of educational standards.

Proposed U. parking garage spurring student protest. April 24, 2013. A proposed $6 million parking garage could mean major parking help at the University of Utah. But some students say the garage would ruin another multimillion dollar university facility that’s less than five years old.

Protesters push past staff, students into Dimensions show. April 22, 2013. Students at Dartmouth College protest recent incidents of homophobia, sexual assault and racism on campus.

CPS protests: Students reject tests, charter school backers want equal funding. April 24, 2013. Chicago Public School students protest standardized testing.

Adjunct faculty represented at DC public hearing

Maria Maisto, President, New Faculty Majority

Maria Maisto, President, New Faculty Majority

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, was in Washington, D.C. yesterday to represent adjunct faculty from around the country at an IRS public hearing regarding establishing guidelines for calculating the work hours of part-time faculty.

The hearing was held in response to the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that as of Jan. 1, 2014, large employers must provide health insurance for employees who work 30 hours per week or more.

The Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association, in conjunction with NFM, collected information about how colleges and universities have cut the course loads of part-time faculty in order to avoid providing health care to adjuncts.

In an April 23, 2013, op-ed on Take Part titled “There’s Something Sneaky Going on at Colleges Across America,” Maisto decries higher education’s efforts to employ legal loopholes and manipulate definitions of faculty work in order to avoid complying with the ACA. Yahoo News also picked up her piece.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s coverage of the hearing included testimony from Maisto that called for parity between part-time and tenured and tenure-track professors when determining work hours for adjuncts.

In March, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS collected 380 comments on the issue of Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage (REG-138006-12). Included among them were a comment from David Wilder, Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee of OPTFA and comments from NFM‘s Maisto.

OPTFA April 24, 28 meetings: Join us in person, online, by phone

To accommodate the varied schedules of adjunct faculty in Ohio, the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association meets on the fourth Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. and on the fourth Wednesday of each month at noon, unless otherwise noted.

All meetings are held at the office of New Faculty Majority and the OPTFA, unless otherwise noted. The address is Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321.

Read OPTFA Meeting Reports.

OPTFA April Meetings: Join us in person, online or by phone

  • Sunday, April 28, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 24, noon
Join the Wednesday, April 24, meeting at noon in person

Location: the new office of New Faculty Majority and the OPTFA. The address is Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321.

Download the Agenda, which includes plans for the May 1 Rally for Equity at the University of Akron. Get the March Meeting Report.

RSVP: to optfa@newfacultymajority.info

Join the Wednesday, April 24, meeting at noon online or by phone

1. Please join the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association meeting, April 24, 2013, at 12:00 PM EDT. You can join two ways:

  1. Online by clicking this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/518535941. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended.
  2. Or by phone. Just call in using your telephone:

Dial +1 (786) 358-5420
Access Code: 518-535-941
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 518-535-941

Join the Sunday, April 28, meeting at 6 p.m. in person

Location: the new office of New Faculty Majority and the OPTFA. The address is Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321.

Download the Agendawhich includes plans for the May 1 Rally for Equity at the University of Akron. Get the March Meeting Report.

RSVP: to optfa@newfacultymajority.info

Join the Sunday, April 28, meeting at 6 p.m. online or by phone

Please join the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association meeting, April 28, 2013, at 6:00 PM EDT You can join two ways:

  1. Online by clicking this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/607802293. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended.
  2. By phone. Just call in using your telephone:

Dial +1 (786) 358-5420
Access Code: 607-802-293
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 607-802-293

OPTFA Rally for Equity at the University of Akron on May 1

What: Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association Demonstration

When: Wednesday, May 1, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: The plaza between the Student Union and Buchtel Hall on the University of Akron’s main campus. Get the map.

Where to Park: The Gated Visitor Parking Deck on East Buchtel Avenue. View the map.

Who: All faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to attend to show solidarity with 70UA’s part-time faculty whose lives are seriously impacted by a recent administrative decision that cuts their course loads to eight credit hours per semester. This decision was made so that UA could avoid providing health care benefits required under the Affordable Care Act.

Why: To educate the campus community and the public about the inadequate working conditions and the pay and benefit inequities faced by part-time faculty at UA. UA’s approximately 1,500 part-timers make up more than 70 percent of all faculty on campus, receive no benefits and earn about $2,400 per three-credit course. OPTFA wants to raise public awareness of the persistent and systematic mistreatment of part-time faculty by The University of Akron and other Ohio colleges and universities.

Sign up form: To help us gauge the participation we will have for the May 1 Rally for Equity at UA, we are asking that you complete a confidential participation form. Just include as much information as you are comfortable sharing. This information will not be distributed outside of the organizing committee of the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association.

Spread the word: Download the May 1 Rally for Equity at UA flyer to share with your colleagues.

More ways to support equity for adjuncts:
  • Wear red to campus in support of adjunct equity on May 1.
  • Wear a scarlet ‘A’ as well
  • Post the scarlet ‘A’ on your office door and/or car window.
  • Upload the scarlet ‘A’ as your Facebook profile photo.
  • Take a photo of yourself and your colleagues in your red and/or wearing your scarlet ‘A’ and post on Twitter using these hashtags: #adjunct #mayday #OPTFA and on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Share this news, links and messages of support on Facebook and Twitter, using these hashtags: #adjunct #mayday #OPTFA and on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Join our Ohio Adjunct Listserv to share news and stay informed on issues and events.
For more information: Email optfa@newfacultymajority.info.

 

Learn about other OPTFA events, including our April 24 and 28 meetings.

FYI: Facts about UA Part-time Faculty

  • Number of first and second year courses (000-200) taught by part- time faculty in the 2010-2011 academic year: 3,770
  • Number of first and second year courses (000-200) taught by full-time faculty in the 2010-2011 academic year: 2,324
  • Total number of part-time faculty in the 2010-2011 AY: 1,503
  • Total number of full-time faculty in the 2010-2011 AY: 806
  • Average annual pay rate for a part-time faculty member of the highest rank (senior lecturer) teaching a 4/3 load (21 credit hours): $20,038
  • Average annual pay rate for a full-time tenure-track faculty member of the lowest rank (assistant professor) teaching a 4/3 load or less: $62,745
  • Percentage of faculty salary budget devoted to part-time faculty, who make up more than 60% of all faculty: 15%
  • Most important issue for part-time faculty, according to a 2012 survey: better pay, securing full-time employment
  • Issues that cause the greatest dissatisfaction among part-time faculty, according to the same survey: low pay, lack of health insurance, the two-tiered faculty system

Student support for adjuncts at Georgetown

This could apply to adjuncts everywhere. Well done, Georgetown students who urge their peers to support the unionization of adjunct professors at Georgetown University as they organize. Let’s stand together.

Sign the White House petition to prevent adjunct cuts

The White House website includes a petition that asks higher education to explore all options in an effort to prevent them from cutting adjunct and contingency faculty hours to circumvent the intentions of the Affordable Care Act.

By April 26, 100,000 signatures are needed, so please sign the petition today. Then share it via email and social media.

Adjuncts and OPTFA in the news

The cause of adjuncts — and the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association — got some press thisppg story week. Here are the links:

How higher education makes part-time faculty invisible

One way to cover up a problem is to make it invisible.

Part-time faculty, who generally make low wages and receive no benefits even though they comprise two-thirds of college and university faculty nationwide, are rendered invisible because so many different words are used to name them, according to Marisa Allison, acting director of research at the New Faculty Majority Foundation and a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at George Mason University.

Marissa Allison, acting research director of New Faculty Majority, presents her research on contigency and women at the AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2013.

Marisa Allison, acting research director of New Faculty Majority, presents her research on contigency and women at the AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2013.

Part-timers are called adjuncts, contingent employees, lecturers, non-tenure-track, term, part-time, post-doctoral, teaching assistants, and auxiliary employees. As a result, they exist generally unrecognized and unrepresented within the academy.

The low status of part-time faculty presents them with a number of challenges:

  • unequal compensation
  • lack of job security
  • no academic freedom
  • lack of professional development
  • lack of advancement opportunities
  • little to no benefits

Allison shared data on these issues at two breakout sessions she led on “Women as ‘Professor Staff‘: Gender Inequity in the Academy” at AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention, held April 6-7 in Newark, Ohio. She was joined by April Freely, co-chair of the Organizing Committee of the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association.

Inequitable compensation

Allison said that another way that part-time faculty are made invisible is by not addressing the inequitable way they are treated. While nationwide the median pay for tenure track faculty to teach a three-credit course is $6,000, part-time faculty make $2,700. Meanwhile, the median revenue that a three-credit course brings in is $84,000 nationwide, Allison said.

So it should come as no surprise that the number of individuals with advanced degrees who are receiving government aid such as food stamps has increased. Of the 22 million individuals with advanced degrees, 360,000 were receiving public assistance in 2010, she reported. That figure more than doubled between 2007 and 2010.

In addition, part-time faculty often lack access to support services and resources such as copying, office space, computers, telephones, and textbooks.

The demise of the tenure track

The problem will only get worse, Allison said, because the number of tenure track faculty is decreasing, while the number of part-time and non-tenure-track full-time faculty is on the upswing.

“The reliance of universities on contingent faculty is dramatic. They have become the majority of faculty across the United States,” she said.

This is particularly true because tenured faculty are staying on the job longer — 20-plus years — and there is a lack of tenure track jobs. According to Allison, universities are converting tenure track positions to non-tenure-track once a faculty member retires — if the position is filled at all.

The real numbers of contingency

Allison brought her tale close to home — and underlined the discrepancy between the figures universities and colleges publicize and those their institutional research departments compile — by sharing the latest figures from the University of Akron’s Office of Institutional Research.

While UA admits to having 58 percent contingent faculty, UA’s official employee count shows that in 2012, 78 percent of its faculty was actually contingent or non-tenure track, which is above the national average.

That means that just 22 percent of the university’s total faculty on all campuses was full-time tenure track or tenured, according to Allison’s calculations.

She pointed out that 42 administrators and 21 librarians, both groups with faculty rank, are included in the tenure track total. However, both groups may teach occasionally or not at all.

Gender, race and contingency

“While gender and race are generally left out of the conversation, these are important factors

because universities and colleges have more women students and faculty,” noted Allison, whose doctoral research addresses gender inequality in higher education. Her specific focus is the growth of women’s participation in the adjunct and contingent labor force.

She shared the percentages of female students in colleges and universities nationwide during the 2007-2008 academic year:

April Freely of OPTFA  and Marisa Allison of NFMF

April Freely of OPTFA and Marisa Allison of NFMF

  • 62% associate degree programs
  • 57% bachelor’s degree programs
  • 61% master’s degree programs
  • 50% professional degree programs
  • 51% doctoral degree programs

Women make up a large percentage of part-time faculty, so the lack of equity in the higher education workplace hits them hard, Allison said.

At Ohio State University, for example, 35 percent of the faculty is tenured or tenure-track, while 65 percent is contingent. Of the total number of faculty, less than half, or 42 percent, are female. But when it comes to contingent faculty, it is clearly a woman’s world. Females comprise 72 percent of contingent faculty, according to the figures Allison provided.

Contingency and student outcomes

“Our working conditions are student learning conditions,” Allison noted, with pay inequities and poor working conditions affecting students as well as faculty.

Research shows that colleges and universities with a high percentage of contingent faculty have diminished graduation and retention rates, negative affects from early exposure to part-time faculty, and reduced student-faculty interaction. Those institutions also see a decline in graduation rates and lower GPAs, she said.

Allison cautioned that the negative affects on students are not because of the quality of part-time faculty, as “contingent faculty are some of the best and most-beloved faculty on campuses.” But the poor working conditions suffered by part-time faculty make it impossible for them to serve students well.

YSU part-time faculty to meet April 16

The Youngstown State University Part Time Faculty Association will hold an Open House in preparation for an Organizational Meeting for limited service instructors at YSU.

When: Tuesday April 16, 6:30 – 9 p.m. (Stop by whenever you can make it.)

Where: Humphrey Room, Kilcawley Center

Bring your concerns and ideas for enhancing part time instruction at YSU For information or just to indicate your interest contact Jim Zupanic Limited instructor in Engineering Technology (330) 539-9188 jczupanic@ysu.edu or jczupanic@yahoo.com.

See more events of interest.

UA limits part-timers to 8-credit workload, BJ reports

UA limiting part-time hours to avoid health-care costs, may boost workload of others

By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published: April 5, 2013 – 11:50 PM

A budget deficit and fear of rising costs under the Affordable Care Act are prompting the University of Akron to limit the number of hours that part-time faculty can teach. Read the full story.